Islamic-Christian dialogue conference denounces Israeli occupation
Regional-Israel, Politics, 12/22/2001

Participants in the Islamic-Christian dialogue conference, that kicked off in
Cairo Wednesday night, stressed a unified Arab stand of followers of both
religions in defending all Arab just causes, namely rejection of the Israeli
occupation and having Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Organized by the Arab team for Islamic-Christian dialogue and the Middle East
Council of Churches, the gathering underscored generalization of the
inter-culture dialogue and coexistence so as to develop a society of
citizenship, justice and confrontation of hazards threatening the national

Moreover, participants in an Islamic-Christian forum cautioned against
interpreting the September I1 attacks on the US as a prelude to a clash of

The gathering, co-organized by an Arab team concerned with Islamic-Christian
dialogue and a Council of Middle East Churches, urged the US to reconsider
its regional policies and adopt an even-handed approach in handling the
Palestinian problem.

"The dialogue among cultures and civilizations is a religious duty, a
cultural inevitability and a security necessity for co-existence, "Hamad bin
al-Rafae, the chief of the World Islamic Forum, told the gathering.

Riad Gargour, Secretary-General of the Middle East Council of Churches, said
the dialogue is working on highlighting the unified Arab Islamic-Christian
stand worldwide to champion common Arab issues and contribute to an
inter-civilization dialogue.

"Muslims and Christians have a common civilization and enter wars together in
defence of their homeland against invaders and colonialists and now they are
conveying a message to the world at large incarnating the most sublime
meanings of cooperation, condemnation of terrorism and murder of innocents,"
he said.

The conference was attended by Islamic thinkers Mohamed Selim Al-Aawa and
Counsellor Tareq El-Bishri, spokesman for the Palestinian Orthodox Church
Attalla Hanna, Abbot Morqos of the the Egyptian Church and Head of the Anglican
Church Nabil Samuel.